This is Small Business explores the journey to success for small business owners by diving deep into the pivotal moments they have faced and conquered along the way. Brought to you by Amazon, this show is delivered through the unique perspective of a curious millennial trying to figure out what it takes to be a successful small business owner today. Episodes feature small business owners and industry experts from all walks of life who offer trends analysis, life lessons, and a different point of view. This is Small Business invites you to dig deep and find the tools you need to start, build, and grow your small business.
Why You Should Protect Your Intellectual Property
28:06What happens if you don't protect your IP, and is it worth all the paperwork? Jeannell Darden, CEO of Moisture Love, shares her story of battling trademark and copyright issues, and how she overcame it. Learn when and how to start the process, what to consider when rebranding, how to avoid trademark disputes, whether you should register your logo, and where to find legal support for small businesses. Cynthia Dahl, Practice Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, offers her insights. Stay tuned to the end of the episode where host Andrea Marquez lists her key takeaways!—(07:04) Considerations to make when rebranding.(14:54) Considerations for founders regarding trademark and protection.(16:47) When should small business owners start considering intellectual property (IP) protection.(18:08) Mistakes to avoid when protecting your brand.(20:16) How to avoid confusion among consumers and trademark disputes.(22:09) Should you register your logo?(24:18) Andrea mentions the cost of legal help for small businesses and points out free resources recommended by Cynthia. She also lists the key takeaways from the episode.—Click HERE to leave us a message!By submitting your voicemail, you’re granting us permission to use the recording in episodes of This is Small Business. Please note, voicemails will not receive direct responses. For help with other questions to Amazon unrelated to this show, you can reach out to Amazon’s customer service team at amazon.com/contact-us.
How to Know When You’re Ready to Launch Your Product
12:40Are you preparing to launch your first product? Andrea learns how to prepare your MVP (minimum viable product), and how to know when you're ready to go, with Trinity Mouzon Wofford, co-founder and CEO of Golde. Trinity also gives us a look into all the behind-the-scenes work she put into their brand as she prepared to launch.—(05:56) How distinctive packaging and vibrant colors helped Trinity's brand stand out in a crowded marketplace (07:58) Copying big businesses' marketing tactics doesn't work! Trinity explains how she found success by staying true to her vision(09:10) How to leverage friends and family to gather early feedback on your product - before you launch (09:42) Trinity explains how she knew she was ready to launch her business (11:06) Andrea's key takeaways for launching your MVP—Click HERE to leave us a message!By submitting your voicemail, you’re granting us permission to use the recording in episodes of This is Small Business. Please note, voicemails will not receive direct responses. For help with other questions to Amazon unrelated to this show, you can reach out to Amazon’s customer service team at amazon.com/contact-us.
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How to Find Your Ideal Customer
28:30Are you struggling to identify your target market? Or maybe you’re wondering where you can find your ideal customer? Andrea breaks down the customer journey into five simple steps with Amber Murray, founder of Fidget Stickers. Once we've figured out who our ideal customer is, Darian Kovacs, founder of Jelly Digital Marketing, tells us how to reach them. Stick around to hear Andrea's key takeaways at the end of the episode.—(05:51) Amber breaks down the five phases of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, decision purchase, retention, and advocacy (12:54) How to identify your ideal customer BEFORE launching your product(18:31) Tools that small business owners can use to learn more about their customer's journey(25:59) Andrea's key takeaways for understanding your customer journey —Click HERE to leave us a message!By submitting your voicemail, you’re granting us permission to use the recording in episodes of This is Small Business. Please note, voicemails will not receive direct responses. For help with other questions to Amazon unrelated to this show, you can reach out to Amazon’s customer service team at amazon.com/contact-us.
Introducing Season 3 of This is Small Business
1:58Are you an aspiring or early-stage entrepreneur with a product to sell? Learn how to grow your small business from a diverse group of entrepreneurs and experts. By the end of this season, you'll understand how to:→ define your target market→ secure funding→ set prices→ protect your intellectual property→ position your product→ expand to new markets→ hire for success→ secure a supply chain→ differentiate with stellar customer serviceThis is Small Business is an original podcast from Amazon. It's hosted by Andrea Marquez, an aspiring entrepreneur who is on a journey to learn all she can about how to start and grow a small business. Every week she dives into a new topic with a successful business owner or expert to help her on her entrepreneurial journey. We know you have a busy schedule. That's why we started releasing "minisodes" - with valuable insights for growing your small business in just ten minutes. Or for a deeper dive into the stories of our diverse slate of entrepreneurial guests, tune into our regular episodes.
Next Generation: What Comes Next?
33:36Join us as we dive deep into the aftermath of the competition and catch up with our teams to hear about their experiences and discover what lies ahead. Did any of the participants secure investors or unearth new opportunities? Are they venturing into other competitions for greater financial rewards, or have they decided to take a break from the high-pressure world of pitching? We’ll also reconnect with some familiar faces: Brad Burke, one of the organizers, and Mitra Miller, one of the esteemed judges, to gain exclusive insights into their reflections on this year's competition results. Get ready for a captivating episode filled with exciting updates and valuable perspectives!
Next Generation: We Win Some, We Lose Some
23:24In Episode 7 of "This is Small Business: Next Generation," hosts Andrea Marquez and Mitch Gilbert bring you to the thrilling final day of the Rice Business Plan Competition. As anticipation reaches its peak, they reveal the teams that have advanced beyond the semi-finals and emerged as winners. Andrea and Mitch also highlight all the improvements made by each team within this short timeframe and engage in conversations with the teams that won and lost to uncover the invaluable lessons learned and what they plan on doing differently in future pitch competitions. Were they disheartened by the outcome? Relieved that the competition is over? Most importantly, did any of our teams win the grand prize? And remember the 60 second elevator pitches at the start of the competition? – did any of our teams win that? Join Andrea and Mitch as they answer all these questions and offer key takeaways from each team's unique journey and some advice on navigating the challenges of dealing with loss.
Next Generation: The First Eliminations
32:14In Episode 6 of "This is Small Business: Next Generation," hosts Andrea Marquez and Mitch Gilbert guide you through the first round of eliminations at the Rice Business Plan Competition where the teams compete for a spot in the semi-finals. As the pressure intensifies, each team strives to make significant improvements in order to stand a better chance of winning. They work tirelessly, tweaking their strategies, and refining and honing their pitches to perfection. It's a race against time as they push themselves to the limits. Andrea and Mitch also talk to Dean Peter Rodriguez to uncover some important insights when it comes to pitching at the Rice Business Plan Competition like the importance of navigating stress in an entrepreneur's life, and articulating risks and opportunities in your pitch. By the end of this episode you’ll find out who’ll make it to semi-finals and what’ll happen to the teams that get left behind. Join Andrea and Mitch as they point out all the key takeaways and learnings from our teams that’ll give you a leg up at any pitch competition you try to compete in.
Next Generation: The Practice Pitch (Navigating Nerves and Feedback)
32:42In Episode 5 of "This is Small Business: Next Generation," hosts Andrea Marquez and Mitch Gilbert take you through the first day of the Rice Business Plan Competition along with the four competitors. Andrea and Mitch take you behind the scenes and share the nerves, worries, and excitement that each team faces as they enter and leave the first practice round of pitching with a TON of feedback (that you get to hear) from the judges. The competitors also go through another competition where they get the chance to win more money if they ace their 60 second elevator pitch. With less than a day to incorporate all the feedback they’ve been given, the drama (and lack of sleep) intensifies. Join Andrea and Mitch as they point out all the key takeaways the competitors received from the judges and offer valuable insights that’ll help you navigate some of the challenges all business owners have.
Next Generation: Balancing Act
31:57In Episode 4 of "This is Small Business Next Generation," hosts Andrea Marquez and Mitch Gilbert offer a glimpse into the days leading up to the Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC). With just a few days left before the big event, the pressure is mounting, and the teams are feeling the intensity, especially after receiving some anonymous feedback from the judges. These dedicated entrepreneurs face the challenge of balancing the demands of running their businesses while perfecting their pitches. Mitch and Andrea dig deeper into some of their challenges like the importance of injecting emotion into pitching, even when delivering seemingly dry and technical information, and what to do when you receive feedback that may not align with your expectations. As the countdown to the competition continues, the burning question remains: Will these dedicated teams be able to perfect their pitches in time? Join Andrea and Mitch as they follow the teams closely and provide essential takeaways that will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in your own pitch competition journey.Leave us a voicemail HERE!By submitting your voicemail, you’re granting us permission to use the recording in episodes of This is Small Business. Please note, voicemails will not receive direct responses. For help with other questions to Amazon unrelated to this show, you can reach out to Amazon’s customer service team at amazon.com/contact-us.
Next Generation: Unveiling the Contenders (part two)
28:50In Episode 3 of "This is Small Business Next Generation," hosts Andrea Marquez and Mitch Gilbert uncover the dos and, more importantly, the don'ts of pitch presentations by speaking directly with RBPC judges. They provide insights into the key differences between various pitch formats, offering advice on how to adapt and make a significant impact within the given time constraints, while also emphasizing the importance of demonstrating your business's investability. Andrea and Mitch also introduce you to two additional teams we'll be following throughout the RBPC: Sloane Tilley and Julio Fredin co-founders of Dia, and Shiv Bhakta and Richard Swartwout co-founders of Active Surfaces. Get a glimpse into the worries and aspirations of these teams as they prepare for the competition by meeting with mentors, and rewriting and practicing their pitches. Join Andrea and Mitch as they equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed in your business plan competition journey, enabling you to confidently impress judges and investors and secure the support your business truly deserves.Leave us a voicemail HERE!By submitting your voicemail, you’re granting us permission to use the recording in episodes of This is Small Business. Please note, voicemails will not receive direct responses. For help with other questions to Amazon unrelated to this show, you can reach out to Amazon’s customer service team at amazon.com/contact-us.